ASI Missionaries leave on Mission Trip To Tobago

Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director, Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Thursday, July 26, 2018

More than twenty ASI Missionaries from East Jamaica Conference left the Norman Manley International Airport for Tobago on July 25, 2018 for the ASI MISSION 2000 & Beyond mission trip  which will run from July 25 – August 21, 2018. The group left the island with the support and prayers of parents, family members, pastors and Conference administrators who went to see them off at the airport on Wednesday.

Conference Secretary, Pastor Linton Williams, Treasurer Elder Donmayne Gyles, CWD Chairman Elder Desmond Young and Pastor Michael Lewis whose daughter was part of the team,  had final words of encouragement and prayer for the group that departed at 2:30 pm on a direct flight headed to Trinidad.  

Leader of the contingency from Jamaica, Elder Claudette Genas, in updating pastors and church leaders about the mission trip last week said, “We provide yearlong training and exposure to the children in the local churches and once per year their gifts and abilities are harnessed for public evangelism in one field. The ASI Mission 2000 & Beyond is a vehicle where the children and youth are given more   opportunities to be engaged in volunteerism humanitarian projects and evangelistic outreach.” 

The aim of the project is to:

1. To raise up a generation of bold children and youth who will know from their personal experience that God can use them to do important things for Him.

  1. To lead our young people into a more meaningful relationship with God through the study of His word.

3. To lead our children from the earliest possible age into active service for God and humanity.

  1. To mobilize the children and youth in the Seventh-day Adventist church for evangelism and humanitarian projects.  

Genas, who is also the Family, Women, Children and Adolescents Ministries Director of East Jamaica Conference also confirmed that mission is done “entirely by children, ages 4 -30 years.”

She disclosed that typically on mission trips, during the days, joint teams of young people take part in community projects. This includes work on construction sites, repairing and painting homes of people in the community, feeding the homeless, painting of schools, street clean up, beach cleanup, hospital and visiting people in prisons.

The trip also include evangelistic outreach which is done entirely by children and youth. The mission consist of children 4 years and more with preachers being 8 years and older. The entire evangelistic operation is done by children and young people including singing evangelists, sign language groups, the puppetry ministry, the mime ministry, the musicians, ushers, quiz personnel and Bible workers.

According to Genas, mission provides an excellent vehicle for young people to be channeled into ministry. 

Moments before the team headed to clear immigration, the EJC Communication team had the opportunity to speak to a few of the members who could easily be identified in their blue ASI Polo shirts with the words “Called to God’s Kingdom” at the front and “For such a time as this” at the back.

 Fourteen year old Shanel  Blygin from the New Haven SDA Church said, “It feels great to know that I am blessed to have this experience to go out to change souls for Christ.”   

Karl Headlam from the Shortwood SDA Church who was on his third mission trip abroad over the past five years  gave a good account of himself when asked why he really liked going on mission for God in different countries.   “Why I really go on mission trips is to tell others about God who do not know him for themselves,” said Karl. “Going on mission for Christ helps me to do better in school and it also helps me  express myself better as well,” added Karl.  

The ASI Missionaries to Tobago were not all from East Jamaica Conference this year as   Raddai Eccleston from the Flankers SDA Church in West Jamaica Conference was part of the team of young people who left  for Tobago.    It was Raddai’s first mission trip abroad and he was looking forward to being drawn closer to God through this experience.

“From I was young, I always heard about mission and I plan to go to get spiritual upliftment and to do good for people who are in need,” said Raddai.

The youngest missionary on the team this year is eight year old Kyle Loney from the Omaro Road SDA Church who  said he felt excited about going on the trip with fellow missionaries. When asked what he expected to achieve when he went to Tobago, Kyle simply replied “To tell people about God.”

 The complete team from Jamaica consists of a few older supporting cast members like Sis. Audrey Foot and Shryl Jackson, Secretary in the department to Elder Claudette Genas at the Conference Office.

Jackson said it was a privilege for her to be on the mission trip to assist with the young children as a chaperone this year. “My expectation for the young people for this trip is that the message will go out and everyone will be drawn closer to Christ,” she said on her way to the departure lounge.

The oldest member of the team who is part of the supporting cast is 75 year old Merlyn Thomas from the Shortwood SDA Church who was going on her fifth trip over the past five years.  “Gong on mission is very good and I enjoy it very much,” said Merlyn. “I just love it and look forward to going every year.”

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